30 Steps to Energy Efficiency – Step 16: Clean Out Your Refrigerator Coils

Reader Contribution by Comly Wilson
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The following energy-savings tip is provided by CleanEdison.

It might seem like a small thing, but your refrigerator can be a HUGE drain on your energy bill. We’ve already shown you how to check for leaks in your refrigerator seal—now let’s take the next step in keeping your

fridge in top working order. The coils in the refrigerator are generally hidden away so it’s easy to forget about them or to think there isn’t much of a problem. The truth is that these coils are very important in helping your appliance to maintain the highest levels of efficiency. If they’re covered in dust and dirt, they can’t do their job. Adding these simple steps to your maintenance routine twice a year can increase your refrigerator’s efficiency and save you money over the life of the appliance.

  • CONSULT YOUR OWNER’S MANUAL: this will give you information on where your refrigerator’s coils are located and the best way to reach them. On some models, this may require a screwdriver and on others the panel will lift away by hand.
  • Pull the ‘fridge away from the wall for easy access to the appropriate panel if it’s in the back—you’ll also need room to get your vacuum close.
  • Make sure the refrigerator is disconnected from the power supply and then open the panel that covers the coils.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with a long, thin nozzle attachment and gently clean away the dust and build-up around the coils. Go as far as you can with the vacuum.
  • For hard-to-reach coils, use a nylon or wire brush to clean off dirt and debris.

Be sure to clean up the dirt that fell off the coils before you replace the panel cover, slide the refrigerator back and plug it in!